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Thread: Westjet Boeing 737 low approach over water @ St. Maarten on March 7, 2017

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    Member James Bond's Avatar
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    Default Westjet Boeing 737 low approach over water @ St. Maarten on March 7, 2017

    AirDisaster.com Forum Member 2004-2008

    Quote Originally Posted by orangehuggy View Post
    the most dangerous part of a flight is not the take off or landing anymore, its when a flight crew member goes to the toilet

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    Senior Member 3WE's Avatar
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    This begs both sarcasm AND genuine questions.

    I'm ass-uming there must have been quite a wind shear to get THAT low... hard to imagine that was simply bad 'navigation' -and the 45 minute hold suggests weather or something other than a botched student pilot visual approach.

    Nevertheless, they did a go around from a fairly low altitude and lived to try again!
    Les règles de l'aviation de base découragent de longues périodes de dur tirer vers le haut.

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    Senior Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3WE View Post
    hard to imagine that was simply bad 'navigation'
    Not if 'bad navigation' means being distracted, getting behind the approach and not watching the instruments. I can imagine it, since it's happened so many times before.

    \

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    Super Moderator brianw999's Avatar
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    Remember that St Maarten does not have an ILS. The only navaids are a VOR/DME and an NDB. That means 100% manually flown approaches. Add in the fact that approaches low over water are notorious for causing extreme concentration on the part of the pilots and I'm surprised that we don't hear of more go arounds at this airport.
    If it 'ain't broken........ Don't try to mend it !


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    Senior Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brianw999 View Post
    Remember that St Maarten does not have an ILS. The only navaids are a VOR/DME and an NDB. That means 100% manually flown approaches.
    Since when do you need ILS to remain on autopilot down to MDA?

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    Senior Member 3WE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    Not if 'bad navigation' means being distracted, getting behind the approach and not watching the instruments. I can imagine it, since it's happened so many times before.
    Quote Originally Posted by http://www.airnav.com/airport/TNCM
    Additional Remarks

    A43-10 PAPI ON RGT AND LFT.
    I really love your procedural/computer mindset Evan, and it continues to fuel the 'procedures to the detriment of traditional fundamentals' issue.

    When you take Brian's comment (no ILS), and the little information snip, I'm thinking that watching the instruments is probably the worst way to keep on the glide slope.But hey, we need to keep up with one vs two autopilots for go-around and whether the -200 vs 236A autopilot variants autopilot is in use and FLCH...

    And the solution for you was autopilot set to an MDA? Not liking that for the short final situation we viewed.

    And, looking out the window for a PAPI (while glancing at the airspeed regularly)...is not quite sexy enough is it?- even though I did manage to sneak in one acronym.

    Plus, aren't there a bunch of nice fundamental milestones...1 mile out...~300 feet up, 2 miles ~600 feet and a miles to go indication from a GPS/RNAV magenta line generator thingy?

    You are correct though- occasionally plots botch this stuff...I'm just giving them the benefit of the doubt that it wasn't a gross deviation from basics to wind up a bit low...

    ...by the way, if the winds were OK, a cowboy pilot would have simply powered up and drug it on in...pretty basic airmanship.
    Les règles de l'aviation de base découragent de longues périodes de dur tirer vers le haut.

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    Senior Member 3WE's Avatar
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    One additional thought...

    I'm guessing we won't see a 'final report' as I'm thinking nothing was violated.

    If it's wind shear, the guys handled it.

    If they truly grossly botched their 'glide slope' I think I'd still claim winds/weather.
    Les règles de l'aviation de base découragent de longues périodes de dur tirer vers le haut.

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    Senior Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3WE View Post
    I really love your procedural/computer mindset Evan, and it continues to fuel the 'procedures to the detriment of traditional fundamentals' issue.
    Since when is watching the instruments in IMC not fundamental airmanship?

    See, the problem with this video is that is starts at the escape manuever/go-around, so we have no idea how it got into such a mess in the first place. But it appears to have come out of low ceiling overcast/rain showers. PAPI (or VASI) is not of much help up there, nor are the windows. If you pop out of that IMC and THEN see the error of your ways, you're going to lose more altitude before you arrest that descent, and if your sink rate is too high and your engines at flight idle, I can see a crew getting into this situation whilst focused on the view out the window and basic flying skills. The real problem here might be (as is so often is...) ......

    ...by the way, if the winds were OK, a cowboy pilot would have simply powered up and drug it on in...pretty basic airmanship.
    ...continuing an unstable approach below stabilization height.

    (or it might be due to some nasty windshear)

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    Senior Member Gabriel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    Since when is watching the instruments in IMC not fundamental airmanship?

    See, the problem with this video is that is starts at the escape manuever/go-around, so we have no idea how it got into such a mess in the first place. But it appears to have come out of low ceiling overcast/rain showers. PAPI (or VASI) is not of much help up there, nor are the windows. If you pop out of that IMC and THEN see the error of your ways, you're going to lose more altitude before you arrest that descent, and if your sink rate is too high and your engines at flight idle, I can see a crew getting into this situation whilst focused on the view out the window and basic flying skills. The real problem here might be (as is so often is...) ......

    ...continuing an unstable approach below stabilization height.

    (or it might be due to some nasty windshear)
    Of course I don't know what happened there, but it *looks like* the clouds are quite higher than the airplane in the first frame.
    Also, I've heard that the MDA at Princess Juliana is 600ft. This plane came down as much as 1/10 of that. I don't think that pilots in a North-American airline would intentionally bust the MDA, let alone by that much, and it is hard to believe that they would have missed it by that much either.

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    Senior Member TeeVee's Avatar
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    every approach into that airport is crazy in terms of how they look... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zD-3pU6nWGQ

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    Super Moderator brianw999's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    Since when do you need ILS to remain on autopilot down to MDA?
    No idea. Next question.
    If it 'ain't broken........ Don't try to mend it !


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    Senior Member 3WE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    Since when is watching the instruments in IMC not fundamental airmanship?
    ...the part where the procedures say that you break out from the clouds, identify the runway environment and land visually (or go around if it looks bad).
    Les règles de l'aviation de base découragent de longues périodes de dur tirer vers le haut.

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